Cadets trip to France ‘like we were in 1944’

RIVERWOOD Hornets Marching Band, part of the Australian Cadet Corps, are still buzzing after returning from a trip to Normandy, France, where they took part in the 80th Anniversary of the D-Day landings and the liberation of France.

The only Australians present, they were representing the 3,300 Australians who played a crucial role in the invasion.
The band’s itinerary was filled with commemorative activities including performing at the American Cemetery in Brittany and in the 80th anniversary parade at Sainte-Mère-Église, one of the first towns to be liberated in 1944.
The band also paid their respects at Omaha, Utah and Gold beaches and the town of Arromanches, immersing themselves in the local festivities which according to participant Jonno Wilkins, felt like being at a party in the 1940s.
“Everyone was dressed for the part and there were jeeps, tanks and songs from the era,” he said.
“I’ve never experienced anything like that before, it was absolutely amazing and uplifting.”
Continuing their journey to Paris, the Hornets explored the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Mont Saint-Michel and the Louvre as well as performing in the parade at Le Jardin d’Acclimatation and concluding with a visit to Disneyland Paris.
Hornets Commander Captain Chris Bailey said that to stand where history was made was an honour words couldn’t capture.
“We are deeply proud to have represented Australia and paid tribute to the Australians who took part in the D-Day landings which led to the end of World War 2,” he said.